One of the reasons that halloumi is so versatile is because it doesn't act the same way other cheeses like a gruyere or a cheddar may during cooking because of its high melting point. As a result, its consistency is less melty and gooey, and more chewy and thick, making it a great meat substitute. The flavor of the cheese is also saltier than many of its shelf mates, which means that it doesn't require as many seasonings to prepare.
Though high in fat and sodium, halloumi also sports a pretty impressive nutritional profile: The cheese has 19 grams of protein (a key to healthy aging) per serving, and is an excellent source of calcium, with over 70 percent of the recommended daily allowance for adults per portion. This makes it a great alternative to red meat for burgers or to throw on the grill. Additionally, halloumi also contains zinc, selenium, magnesium, and vitamins A and B. "A healthy portion size of halloumi is about 80 grams," which equates to roughly a palm-sized piece.
Scroll down for 6 calcium-packed halloumi recipes to add to your spring lunchtime rotation
1. Satay Halloumi Wraps
Satay sauce (aka peanut sauce) can do no wrong, but it doesn't only have to go with chicken. These vegetarian satay wraps are tangy and flavorful, can be eaten hot or cold, and are a great way to include seasonal produce in a meal that is easy to grab and eat on the go.
Get the recipe: Satay Halloumi Wraps
2. Seared Halloumi with Grains
Looking to add some extra protein to the same quinoa salad that you meal prepped on Sunday and have been eating all week? Top it with halloumi! The salty flavor of the cheese adds an extra punch to the dish, and you can use any kind of grain and all of the mix ins to make it the perfect, refreshing but filling, bowl.
Get the recipe: Seared Halloumi with Grains
3. Smoky Halloumi Pasta Bake
The dish is filling, great to feed the whole family, and the smoky paprika and potpourri of other spices give it an earthy, smoky, elevated taste and smell that make it feel different than your regular pasta dish go-tos.
Get the recipe: Smoky Halloumi Pasta Bake
4. Crispy Halloumi Burger
Craving a burger? Don't want to eat meat? Only have 15 minutes? This recipe is so quick and easy to make, tastes amazing, and is great to batch prep. The crispiness of the fried halloumi is an excellent contrast to the soft bun and whatever sauces, pickles, and veg you decide to add.
Get the recipe: Crispy Halloumi Burger
5. Grilled Halloumi Tacos With Mango Salsa
Mix up your menu next Taco Tuesday with these sweet, savory, and summery mango, halloumi tacos that are vegetarian-friendly, a little spicy, and very fun to make.
Get the recipe: Grilled Halloumi Tacos with Mango Salsa
6. Butter Halloumi Curry
If you find yourself hankering Indian food, this vegetarian iteration of butter chicken takes the flavors that you know and love but uses halloumi instead of poultry.
Get the recipe: Butter Halloumi Curry
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